The sequel, set four years after the events of Halo 3, marks the return of iconic hero Master Chief and the beginning of a brand new saga.
"We are beginning a new saga with Halo 4 and embarking on a journey that will encompass the next decade of Halo games and experiences," said Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios.
"Millions of fans worldwide have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to step back into the boots of Master Chief, and with Halo 4 leading the charge, we're confident 2012 will be the most successful year in Xbox history."
Halo 3 wrapped up the original trilogy in 2007, but the fate of Master Chief and his artificial intelligence companion Cortana was left open-ended.
Halo 4, developed by 343 Industries, will be released exclusively for Xbox 360.
> Read our Halo 4 interview on multiplayer and narrative with 343 Industries
Watch Halo 4's multiplayer trailer below: